Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Second Amendment - a slight refrain

A while back I posted on the Second Amendment - here are some further thoughts;

First off - George Washington (remember him) had a horrible time raising an army, and his untrained forces that he could assemble were mis-matched against the red coats. How to fix that was the mind set and historical context that lead to the Second Amendment. "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state,the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

As hard as they try the apologist for the NRA, the NRA, or the excuse makers for Columbine can not separate out any part of that one sentence known as the Second Amendment or offset one phrase apart and away from the other - here's why. If the framers of the Constitution had intended for any part of that amendment sentence to stand alone they would have separated it and started a new sentence as another amendment or at least added a period where the comma is located with a capital letter. But this is not how they wrote it.

Think about it - the framers of the Constitution deliberated behind closed doors in the heat of the summer and all summer long. No air conditioning, windows shut with privacy sought until a finished product could be presented to the people and the world. This was and is serious work. They deliberated on this for months if not years when you consider the documents Madison and Jefferson, Adams and Hamilton wrote prior to and after the Constitution. Certainly if the framers were concerned that every citizen be armed to defend their property or go hunting then the amendment would have stated it as such. It would have been an amendment about hunting and brandishing firearms.

These were learned men who exercised international treaties and business contracts their whole lives. They didn't just slap the document together or misword their original intent. They deliberated, drafted and composed for a long time in trying to be clear, drafted and re-drafted. They poured over the document line by line. If the often quoted …or rather mis-quoted right to bear arms was the sole intention of the framers it would have gotten its own amendment right off the bat, upfront and with it's own sentence.

But again that's not what the Second Amendment is about. Unfortunately with the excuse makers and those that profit directly from gun sales to minors and criminals the Second Amendment begins with "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State ..." this amendment's clear priority by order of it's wording is a militia and a States right to form one. This is a States right amendment.

In addition Alexander Hamilton's expands on this issue in the Federalist papers that a well regulated militia might have to stand up to a national army gone amok from a centralized government. Since the framers had experienced this very problem first hand in Concord among other places the Second Amendment (after free speach) was designed to prevent that very likely eventuality. History repeats itself and the framers were well aware of that. In short - The Second Amendment is a States right clause to form Militias to defend against foreign attacks even by our very own centralized government - thus the right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed.

Gramatically the right to bear arms is by virtue of it's placement in the sentence a subordinate right dependent on the first two objects of the sentence.

Arming random citizens so they could brandish guns in the town square with impunity or defend themselves from Native Americans or hunt for dinner, or pleasure was not what this amendment was about and may not have even been an issue in those days. The misquoted and mis-implied "individual right" to bear arms was probably no more an issue than the right to bear a fishing rod or the right to bear a bow and arrow.

That the NRA leans so heavily on a selected few out of context words from this amendment to thwart the common sense management of the 21st century realities is a crime, laughable on it's face if not for the harrowing results, dangerous, disingenuous, ill-conceived and a health care problem.

Child safety locks are fought using word fragments from this amendment by the gun lobbyist. The loophole in the trade shows against criminal background checks is also fought using word fragments of this amendment.

The Second Amendment was not intended nor does it say let criminals have guns and abandon risk reduction regarding children.

So let's stop bastardizing the words and intent of the Second Amendment. Let's manage our realities of the 21st century and provide for law abiding citizens to own guns for protection of property, hunting for game and in forming State Militias. We can do all three. Outlawing guns is not the answer, but neither is reckless gun promoting, manufacturing, selling and the distribution practices presently flaunted.

Semi automatics, AK-47's, armor piercing bullets, this kind of weaponry doesn't belong in the hands of law abiding citizens, but State Militias in order to defend against modern armies and supervised and controlled by each State individually should have access to them if they feel the need.

Hunting rifles and hand guns are the only weapons necessary to defend your home against break in or used to go hunting. No one under eighteen should own or operate a hand gun (much like drinking or going off to war). If we get attacked on our soil - the Second Amendment provides for each State to have a "well regulated" militia.

Guns are a big industry along with cigarettes, pesticides, chemical, nuclear, coal, and oil (to name a few) that have abused their inherent obligation to the Nation and States not to harm it's citizens. Hiding behind the Second Amendment by virtue of word play doesn't change that reality at all.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Oil Sickness - Oil Fever

I am so sick of these "wildcat drillers" that we elected to the White House. If the Country hasn't figured it out by now - we have put the Fox in charge of the Hen House. Nothing but a bunch of drill anywhere fools who's vision is limited to "where is the oil, how do we get a rig up and how much money have we made". The only thing this group is interested in is drilling and profit - health care is not an issue, public schools, are not an issue, the environment is not an issue, fraud, corruption, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights - not an issue - just where is the oil and how do we get a rig up - overfishing - not an issue. Factory farms - not an issue, run off polluting everything - not an issue, the chemical industry ruining our health - not an issue. Gas mileage - not an issue (in fact the lower the better for them). I hope this is the last time for a very long time that we elect anymore oil barons to the White House, Senate or Congress. I hope we have learned our lesson. If they are from Texas or Oklahoma be very careful - they might have oil fever - yeeeehaaaa! Nothing, nothing else matters to them. If you think so you are listening to their words and not watching their actions.

Monday, March 19, 2007

An Open Letter to Congress and the White House!

Dear Everyone,
Money and individual corporate profits should not be our nations #1 priority. Survival in harmony with the planets environmental system is and always will be the number one priority for our species whether recognized or not. Environmental harmony lowers health care costs. Look at the planet Venus (seriously) that's the fate of a planet with a serious greenhouse problem with surface temperatures at 900 degrees or more. Light and energy from the sun is coming in but not getting out. We are beginning to see very drastic and real signs of that process starting on Earth. We live on a planet in a universe void of accessible air to breath. We are in fact an oasis in space with a ridiculously thin atmosphere. Yet we aim every kind of pollutant we can at it - how dumb is that? There is no other planet.

Until we come to our senses and protect our environment and live in balance with our planetary and solar system reality we are doomed to play macho king of the hill - I've got the most money games. We need to raise our sights, and our vision above the immediate short term profit gain, game.

This is our only planet and if anything we had better damn well err on the side of caution. I can't believe I have to tell educated adults this. Anything less is foolish. Clean energy sources are a must. I'm sorry Exxon/Mobil but if you won't change you doom yourself to the status of industrial dinosaur.

We can not afford to let our waterways, air and food be any more contaminated than they already are. There is a whole national economy based on waterfront, living and working. We have to stop overfishing the Oceans, and we certainly can not tolerate the whole sale slash and burn of our forest resources.

The idea is to manage effectively the resources we have been given. You want coal? Then keep the Co2 out of the air and pump it back into the ground. You want oil - then 70 miles to the gallon for cars. The benefits to our health and the lowering of health care costs across the board are one thing. But the other benefits will lessen our dependence on foreign oil which is a huge national security issue. The less we need and use global oil the less a factor the middle east plays on our domestic policy. If we don't have to be in their desert and use religious bigotry to gain land and power then maybe the middle east won't feel the need to terrorize the civilized world.

Oil is everything that is wrong with the world, period. It's time to have vision. The jobs being created by clean energy sources could be 1.1 million jobs by 2017 - according to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. So the old argument of jobs versus the environment is just wrong, a red herring. The status quo needs to wake up and change if they want to count their profits - the only constant in life is change and it's happening faster and faster and has reached a crisis point. The pictures of the melting ice caps don't lie. Disappearing polar bears and mutant deformed frogs are gods warning system. We need to stop listening to our false god of money and pay attention to the biological realities of a species surviving on a lonely, small, tiny wisp of a fragile and unique atmospheric planet. WAKE UP! Earths don't grow on trees.

A little common sense people, electric cars and an eye towards the long term survival and proper management of our eco-system comes first -profit margins for individual corporations and trade - comes 5th or 6th - after national security, health and education. Please stand up to special interests. Don't all be a bunch of bought off sell outs have some damn pride and honor your station in life with the respect and conduct it deserves as represented by Washington, Franklin, Jefferson, Adams and Hamilton. There is something bigger going on here than personal wealth. When we do the correct thing that is when our country shines and is the promise of the world.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

God speaks to us - everyday

It always seems to me whenever god wants to emphasis a particular revelation I am having about myself, my loved ones or the world at large he/she always sends an animal friend to punctuate the moment. Whether it's a full breach by a bottle nose dolphin, or hawks swooping in so low I could reach out and touch them; I am convinced our animal friends are vital to the creators ability to speak to us and inform us especially when we have strayed off his/her path. It's time to put an end to second class treatment of our animal friends and learn the lessons and hear the messages they are trying to deliver. Today the polar bear has a story to tell. It's in our best interest to listen and learn from that story. We are fools if we don't.

Ways you can make a difference;
Oceans
Polar Bears
and Wolves

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Safe Lawns - killer weeds

First paragraph re-posted from Kiss The Earth

"... Paul Tukey had a thriving lawn-care business in Maine. He used pesticides and chemical fertilizers on the lawns of his 800 customers and has never made as much money as he did then. But in 1994, after developing blurry vision, nosebleeds and cold sweats, he was diagnosed with acute pesticide poisoning. Now he's running Safelawns.org, a nonprofit that teaches organic lawn care to a growing audience of consumers who want a better, safer way to treat their lawns and gardens..."

But to casually toss of Paul Tukey's problems with the buzz phrase "acute pesticide poisoning" misses the point. America is conditioned to dump tons, and tons, and tons of this horrible in-organic matter onto our lawns in the hopes that their lawns look like the air brushed pictures in Better Homes and Gardens. And, tons, and tons, and tons of that inundated chemical nightmare wash right off our lawns and right into our water system, estuaries and food supply. This is an enormous problem and a serious health risk. Read what one man working a few lawns a week went through "blurry vision, nosebleeds and cold sweats" and multiply that nationwide.

We are polluting ourselves when we are polluting our environment and the idea that "it's just my lawn" and is just my business is not accurate. "What difference does one person make" - well that's just unaware thinking. I have news for everyone - WE ALL MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE and it's a huge difference when everyone thinks and acts the same.

Needless to say I've gone organic on my lawn because I can't stand the idea that I as an individual am polluting the water ways that I love, the creatures that I adore, and the food that I cherish and put back into my system (my body).

Nothing is separate it is all connected from the cigarette butts tossed out of windows, to the tailpipes of our cars, to the pesticides on our lawns. It's all just one big system we are a part of, and it all comes back home to roost in the air we breath, the water we drink and the food we eat. Each one of us has to care and care a lot to right this ship and change the perception that we stand apart from nature and the Earth somehow and realize fully how totally and completely integrated we in fact are. What each of us does matters a lot to everything.

More info on what you can do - here!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

V.A. Benefits

As I listened to Dick Cheney's overblown, forth right admonition about Veteran's Benefits and the recent scandal at Walter Reed Hospital I couldn't help but to be infuriated. It was this administration who cut Veteran's Benefits as they were sending our soldiers to Iraq. How do they sleep at night?

Actions speak louder than words:

Bush plans to cut veterans health care after 2008. “The Bush administration plans to cut funding for veterans’ health care two years from now — even as badly wounded troops returning from Iraq could overwhelm the system. … Even though the cost of providing medical care to veterans has been growing rapidly — by more than 10 percent in many years — White House budget documents assume consecutive cutbacks in 2009 and 2010 and a freeze thereafter.”

Bush raises health care costs for veterans. For the fifth year in a row, Bush’s budget has attempted to raise health care costs on 1.3 million veterans, calling for “new enrollment fees and higher drug co-payments for some veterans.”

Bush administration has claimed veterans benefits are “hurtful” to national security. In 2005, the Wall Street Journal noted the growing cost of veterans benefits due to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Pentagon’s response was to complain that it would “rather use [the funds] to help troops fighting today.” “The amounts have gotten to the point where they are hurtful. They are taking away from the nation’s ability to defend itself,” says David Chu, the Pentagon’s undersecretary for personnel and readiness.